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Honoré de Balzac
(Louis-Auguste Bisson, public domain)


This aesthetic trend, equally associated with painting, arose in France during the latter half of the 19th century. Literary realism is characterized by the desire to describe everyday reality such as it is, in a meticulous way and without trying to embellish it. This movement expressed itself almost exclusively through the novel, unlike romanticism which could be illustrated by both poetry and the novel.

Some of Balzac's works, including "Father Goriot", were precursors of realism. Gustave Flaubert, author of "Madame Bovary", was one of the leaders of French realism. Elsewhere in the world, writers such as Thomas Hardy (United Kingdom), George Eliot (United Kingdom) and Maxime Gorky (Russia), among others, included realistic elements in their works. Naturalism, another literary doctrine, arose from realism.

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